Fast Paced: 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am 20th Anniversary – Sold!
As much as I liked the 1984-1987 Buick Grand National, I loved the 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am Pace such as the example listed on Craigslist in Massapequa, New York (Long Island) where the current caretaker is asking $38,500 for his 4,700 miles, one of only 1,555 produced example. While that may sound stiff for a third-generation Trans Am, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller, who appears to be quite the car collector, has his rare Trans Am priced about $500 higher than the #2 “Excellent” estimate of $38,500. If you are serious about buying this limited edition Trans Am, you can start the conversation by either calling or texting the seller at (516) 319-4646. A quick google search of this phone number (we do this to weed out dealers posing as private sellers) revealed who we believe to be the same owner Keith offered this car here on a site called the Turbo Trans Am Registry for $30,000 in January 2017 that apparently did not sell. So while the seller likes to claim these cars “are going up by the day” we also note that two similar examples offered on Bring A Trailer within the past two years did not meet their reserve with high bids topping out at only $24,871 and $31,500.
By 1989, a resurgence in the Pony Car wars had Ford’s Mustang GT winning sales over the third generation F-Bodies. With the Buick Grand National out of production, Pontiac engineers came up with the brilliant idea to stuff that car’s turbocharged V6 into the great handling chassis of the top-tier GTA-spec Trans Am to take king-of-the-hill honors that year.
What the 1989 Turbo Trans Am lacked in the V8 engine burble it more than made up for in performance numbers. So good were the Turbo Trans Ams performance numbers at the time it became the first car ever to pace the Indianapolis 500 without requiring any power train or suspension modifications. That’s a distinction even cars from the original muscle car ear could not claim. Here’s a great Motorweek review of the ’89 Turbo Trans Am that provides some context of how this car performed when new.
Some things are just never meant to be. As 1987 marked the last year of the Buick Grand National, I was still a poor engineering student with one more year to go who did buy a new car that year. Just two short years later, when Pontiac engineers came up with the brilliant idea to stuff the now-defunct GNX’s engine into a limited-edition GTA Trans Am I was already married with a fresh house mortgage. Time moves on and as good as the Turbo Trans Am was in 1989 and perhaps while I could try to regain my post-undergrad youth buying this 31-year-old new car, the reality now is there are simply a wealth of better cars produced since that offer better performance and the ability to row your own gears for less money than the $38,000 expected here. If you disagree, based on the pictures this appears to be a well-cared, extremely low mileage example that will likely not disappointed. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1989 turb trans am 20th anniversary
Original gatorback tires
Interior 10 out of 10
Exterior 9.5 out of 10
Must see to appreciate this collectable
Car will be a 6 figure car in no time!“
Do you have a Third-Gen Pontiac Trans Am story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!